Fireworks weren't all that were going off with a bang Wednesday. Five tournaments played out on the 4th of July and two bracelets were awarded. Will Jaffe was able to close out heads-up play in Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em by defeating Luis Campelo in a grueling match. Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em also came to a close, and for the second time this summer a former Main Event champion fell just short of winning a bracelet. In Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em, the money bubble was burst as 167 players were cut down to 27 going into the final day of play. Event #58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better also reached the money as more than 100 players dropped and only 31 remain. Lastly, Day 1A of Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em kicked off with 1,740 entrants.
Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
Day 4 of Event #54 wasn't expected to last long as Luis Campelo and Will Jaffe were already heads-up for the title, but action got off to an exciting start with Campelo hitting a miracle card to bring the two players nearly even in chips.
In the hand, Jaffe opened to 320,000 which prompted a shove from Campelo. Jaffe called with the and he was crushing Campelo's . The flop fell to put Campelo is a deep hole, and Jaffe could almost taste the bracelet. The turn was the and that nearly sealed the deal, making two pair for Jaffe. The river shot off fireworks for the Brazilian rail, though, as it brought the , making trips for Campelo and giving him a much needed double-up.
From there, Jaffe fought back and whittled Campelo away little by little. When the two finally got the money in, Jaffe had the best of it again. Campelo moved all-in from the button and Jaffe quickly called. Jaffe was holding the while Campelo held the . The flop came to give Jaffe the monster lead once again. The on the turn ended matters as Campelo was left drawing dead. The hit the river and that was all she wrote. Campelo fell in second place and collected $309,429 for his finish.
It took 33 hours to finally reach a victor, but at the end it was Will Jaffe who best the field of over 3,000 players. For his victory, Jaffe took home a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, along with $500,075.
To check out more hands from the heads-up match, or to see action from the rest of the final table, make sure you visit the live reporting blog.
Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
Twenty-two players returned for Event #56 and among them were 2008 Main Event champion Peter Eastgate and 2011 November Niner Sam Holden. However, at the end of the day it was Tomas Junek who was able to lock up a World Series of Poker gold bracelet and the first-place prize money that came along with it.
Holden was eliminated early in the day when he moved all-in with and was called by Gianluca Mattia's . The board ran out and Holden wasn't able to pair up to stay alive. He was sent home in 16th place and collected $23,608 for his deep run.
The final table bubble boy was Mattia himself when he moved all-in with against Eliyahu Levy's . The flop was and it brought some chop outs for Mattia, and he picked up a few more outs when the came on the turn. But the river was the and Mattia's hand was second best. His 10th place finish earned him $38,037.
Players fell one by one at the final table before Eastgate made his exit in fourth place. Eastgate had a strong showing, making a few good calls and staying afloat with his average stack, but he couldn't win a race when it mattered. Eastgate and David Borg got all the money in preflop holding and respectively. The board ran out offering no help to Eastgate. He collected $209,111 for his first cash since the 2009 Main Event.
David Vogel fell in third, and that put Borg and Junek into heads-up play. Junek and Borg started out trading blows, but eventually, Junek had chipped down Borg significantly. On the final hand, Borg three-bet shoved all-in holding the and Junek snapped him off holding the . The board ran out to give Junek the best hand and the victory. Borg collected $410,517 for his runner-up finish.
Junek, meanwhile, captured his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and the $661,022 prize money that came with it. Here's a look at the payouts from the final table:
To see all the action from the final table and from earlier in the tournament, make sure you check out the live reporting blog.
Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed
There were 167 players at the beginning of Day 2 in Event #57, but only 27 remained at the end of the day. Plenty of notables fell on Wednesday, but several stars survived the money bubble and built up large stacks going into Day 3.
Among the players who fell Wednesday were Lex Veldhuis, Steve Billirakis, Nick Schulman, Joseph Cheong, Dwight Pilgrim, and the bubble boy Ryan D'Angelo. On his final hand, D'Angelo got all the money in holding against Sam Chartier's . The board ran out and that was no help to D'Angelo. He was the only player to bust during hand-for-hand play.
Several players also hit the rail after D'Angelo's elimination, including Jonathan Duhamel, Amit Makhija, William Reynolds and Sam Chartier. Chartier busted when he called all-in against Nick Maimone on a board. Maimone was holding and Chartier was already drawing dead.
Maimone will return tomorrow as one of the chip leaders with 1,003,000 chips. Also returning tomorrow are Jason Mercier, Andrew Lichtenberger, Tony Hachem, Eugene Katchalov, and recent bracelet winner Carter Phillips. Action will resume Thursday at 1300 PST (2100 BST) and will attempt to play down until a winner is crowned.
Make sure you don't miss any action from Thursday's exciting conclusion by following the live reporting blog.
Event #58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better
There were 173 players with their eyes on the $330,277 top prize at the start of Day 2, but only 31 survived in Event #58 on Wednesday. Leading the way at the end of the day was Felicia Johnico who bagged up 397,000 chips, and not far behind is Yuval Bronshtein who bagged up 377,000 chips.
Among the notables who hit the rail Wednesday were Huck Seed, Allen Kessler, Scott Clements, Chip Jett,and Martin Staszko. One massive pot occurred just before the bubble broke between David Bach, Stephen Su, and Joe Gualtieri. Before the flop, Bach had invested his 70,000 chip stack, and Gualtieri had also got his short stack in looking for a triple up. Su had both players covered and was holding . Bach held the and Gualtieri was holding . The board ran out and Su's two pair was good enough to scoop the entire pot. He finished the day fifth on the leaderboard with 240,000 chips.
Several players were eliminated after the bubble burst, including Erick Lindgren, Matt Vengrin, and Dario Alioto, but there are still several big names in contention. Some of them are David “ODB” Baker, Bryan Devonshire, Randy Ohel and Antoine Saout. Action will begin Thursday at 1400 PST (220 BST) and will see the final 31 players play down to a winner or until the 3 a.m. hard stop.
To make sure you don't miss the crowning of a champion, follow the live reporting blog where we will bring you all of the action throughout the day.
Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em – Day 1A
Event #59 has already created a massive prize pool as 1,740 players showed up for the first of two Day 1 flights. An even larger number could show up Thursday, so we could potentially see the largest field of the 2012 WSOP before the Main Event begins on Saturday. On top of Day 1A was 2010 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event finalist Ronald Lee, who bagged up 79,325 chips. Also among the leaders was Phil Ivey, who stacked up 50,000 chips to finish the first day.
Ivey was able to start building a stack when he got a bit lucky against another player. On an board, Ivey check-raised to 7,000, and his opponent shoved all-in. Ivey called holding but his opponent was ahead with . However, the river was the , which gave Ivey a better full house to increase his stack to nearly 50,000.
Also in the mix Wednesday were Phil Hellmuth, Justin Bonomo, Erik Seidel, Barry Schulman, Olivier Busquet and Barry Greenstein, all of whom busted before the day was over. Some of the pros returning on Day 2 will be J.J. Liu, Terrence Chan, Steve Sung, Leo Margets, and Konstantin Puchkov, who is still looking for his record-breaking 11th cash of the series.
The remaining 256 players will return Friday, converging with the survivors of Day 1B. The second Day 1 flight begins Thursday at 1200 PST (2000 BST).
Make sure you don't miss who shows up for day 1B by checking out the live reporting blog.
On Thursday, Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed, and Event #58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better are scheduled to play down to a winner. Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em – Day 1B will also get under way and the Rio will likely be filled with thousands of runners. Starting Thursday is Event #60: $10,000 2 – 7 Lowball (No-Limit). The World Series of Poker National Championship begins on Friday, and on Saturday the real fun begins with Event #61: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event.
Video of the Day
The Video of the Day is the special 4th of July party edition of “The Straddle.” This week, Kristy Arnett takes you behind the scenes at the World Series of Poker yet again and goes deep into the world of underground poker partying. Also featured is a special music video with William Reynolds, Jason Mercier, Leo Mergets, and Layne Flack. Make sure you check it out in the video below.
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